That was the week when the metals markets began to recover his composure after the disaster in Japan. Junior miners were generally better off as a result, given that virtually all the metals closed higher, and that the newsflow continued to come in thick and fast. The TSX Venture Exchange Index closed up just over 30 points at 2,314, while the Metals and Mining Index was up just under 20 points at 1,425.

At the top end of the market, the tussle between Equinox and Lundin continues. Market watchers raised the possibility that a rival bid for Lundin remains a possibility, as Equinox responded to Lundin’s rejection of its own C$4.8 billion bid. A rival bid from Inmet is already on the table, and some industry watchers think it might be sweetened. But the Equinox team are urging Lundin shareholders to accept its C$8.10 per share offer, on the basis that it offers considerable a premium to the closing price of Lundin shares prior to the offer. Equinox also stated that it believes that its offer is underpinning the current share price. Lundin’s shares closed out the week up slightly more than C20 cents, at C$7.59.

Elsewhere, Endeavour Mining reported a decent set of full year financial results. The company delivered net income of C$9.6 million, or C$0.09 per share for the six months to 31st December 2010. During the period the company completed its acquisition of Etruscan, and was able to report gold production for the 12 months ended 31st December of just over 82,000 ounces at an average cash cost of US$613 per ounce. The company reckons that this year it will produce around 84,000 ounces at around US$600. A significant programme to boost reserves and resources is also underway. Endeavour ended the week up just over C$0.10 at C$2.72.

In fundraising news, Great Panther took advantage of the high silver price and a recent run of decent production news from its Mexican Silver Mines to tap the market for C$21 million through the issue of five million new shares at a price of C$4.20 each. On the market the shares were broadly flat at C$4.20.

Moving to the earlier stage companies, Gold Bullion Developments stated that it has appointed drilling specialist Ronald Goguen to its board of directors. Gold Bullion is currently exploring working up two properties in Canada, the Long Bars gold prospect on its Granada project in Quebec, which continues to deliver high grade intersections, and the Castle Mine silver project. Gold Bullion closed the week up C$0.04 and C$0.46.

Also on the move was Colossus Minerals which closed the week up by almost C$0.40 at C$8.30, after it announced some good-looking intersections on its Serra Pelada project in Brazil. The best intersection showed 7.81 metres at 136.43 grams per tonne gold, 249.2 grams per tonne platinum, and 121.4 grams per tonne palladium. The company is currently drilling 25,000 metres at Serra Pelada with five rigs, and hopes to add more rigs to the effort soon. Further results are imminent.

Fire River Gold also delivered some decent looking drill results as it continues to work towards the resumption of full-scale mining at its Nixon Fork gold mine in Alaska. The latest intercepts showed six metres of 125.5 grams per tonne material, including 189 grams per tonne over 3.5 metres. The market took a cautious approach to the news, however, as the full-scale restart is the next real trigger, and the shares ended the week C$0.02 weaker at C$0.49.

Away from the precious metals, Firestone Ventures announced plans to initiate drilling on its Black Mountain zinc-lead-silver property in Nevada. Drilling is now slated to begin in May, according to a statement from Firestone chief Lori Walton. She also stated that the company had initiated the permitting process for a proposed drilling campaign at the nearby Antelope zinc-lead-silver property. Firstone’s shares ended the week around C$0.01cent weaker at C$0.125.

Also stepping up its drilling effort was Pelangio. The company announced the commencement of a 5,000 metre campaign to drill 36 holes on its Obuasi project in Ghana. Pelangio stated that Obuasi holds “significant potential” and highlighted the proximity of AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi project, which in its time has produced over 30 million ounces. The market liked the story, and Pelangio’s shares rose C$0.11 to C$0.74.


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